Stop Thinking, Start Knowing: a Glimpse into our Future

I play an interesting and scary game with my friends. When one of us asks “Who was that Actor?”, or wonders about “When did [some event] occur?”, or any kind of question with a factual answer, I call “Full stop, bring out the iPhone!

This takes the ‘wonder’ out, and that’s the point. We’re living in a world where this information is available, and with the mobile internet, it’s now conveniently available. If you’re interested in understanding where we’re heading, force yourself to play this game, because sometime soon, we won’t need a human advocate to initiate the search, we’ll already know the answer.

Imagine a device that marries speech recognition, natural language processing, Google search, and a permanent connection to the internet (WiFi/3G). Now imagine this device has two interface elements: a microphone, and an LCD readout of around 10 lines. This device will always be on, always listening, and always have the answers.

When a question is asked, you’ll look at the display, and you’ll know, not wonder.

We are not that far from this! (I’d like to prototype one…) Once this exists, how long until we have in-sunglass integration? How about in-eardrum? In-brain?

The answers exists, and the workflow is getting easier. What happens when an entire society is acclimated to this, and leveraging the web reflexively, not consciously? The implications on how we think is mind-boggling, an entire society with a new-found superpower. How will we change?

I encourage you to start playing the game now!